by: Erin Larsen-Cooper, Manager, Health Systems at VillageReach

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Most of us make them. And inevitably, most of us break them. Last year I gave up added sugar. And on New Year’s Eve, as I nibbled on salted almond chocolate, I had to admit that I had given up on that resolution back in February. Yet nonetheless, while chewing on that same candy bar, I made a new resolution – spend more time having fun outdoor adventures. Luckily, this year I am armed with some research that shows that those of us who proclaim our resolutions publicly (check!) and set specific goals (do at least one outside activity- such as hiking, skiing or a long bike ride- per month) will be more likely to succeed.

Following these same principles, VillageReach is proud to publicly announce its New Year’s resolution: eliminate stockouts. Through our membership in the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition we are committing to Take Stock, a campaign to eliminate stockouts of reproductive health supplies worldwide. This means greater access to birth control, reduced maternal mortality, and healthier families.

To accelerate the Take Stock’s efforts we commit to these specific goals:

  • Invest in human resources for supply chain. By 2016, VillageReach will train 150 pharmacy assistants to work in health centers in Malawi where they will improve storeroom management, pharmaceutical practice and access to all commodities, including reproductive health supplies.
  • Increase visibility and use of data from the last mile to improve supply chain performance and availability of commodities. By 2017, VillageReach will support the deployment and/or expansion of OpenLMIS in at least 3 countries, improving access to data for more effective management of public health supply chains
  • Advocate for new approaches, solutions, and technologies to improve access to reproductive health supplies. VillageReach will activity contribute to initiatives and organizations dedicated to systems approaches to improving access to reproductive health commodities through our membership in the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition and the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Childrenand our commitment to the Take Stock campaign.

I am immensely proud to be part of these commitments and I am passionate about our work to improve the lives of women and their families. These are resolutions I know we will achieve. And they are resolutions that will have far more reaching impact than skipping dessert.

This post originally appeared here. Take Stock is grateful to Erin and to VillageReach for their commitments to resolving stockouts!